Ask Murketing (which in turn will ask you): What’s the deal with Fage yogurt?

Posted by Rob Walker on July 2, 2008
Posted Under: Ask Murketing

Q: Why is “Fage” [link] suddenly everywhere? Who decided that yogurt is now supposed to be gunky? Why are people suddenly fanatical about it?

Would love your thoughts on this,

[Name redacted]

A: Uhmmmm. I don’t know. Thoughts, anybody?

Further diversion may be found at MKTG Tumblr, and the Consumed Facebook page. Tags:

Reader Comments

2 main reasons:

1. Heavy protein/Low carb: 2% Fage has 17 grams of protein (way more than milk or trad yogurt) and few carbs. And just 130 calories. For the low carb set, word gets around quickly.

2. Clever advertising: Good concept. Smart placements in some higher end periodicals adjacent to good brands and articles.

And a personal third reason:

3. Good tasting, healthy sour cream and yogurt replacement for things as diverse as Mexican and Middle Eastern food

Written By Jonathan on July 2nd, 2008 @ 6:13 pm

While I’m definitely not fanatical about it, I like it because it tastes better. Gunky? I like the rich texture… At the same time it is healthier (much higher in protein and low-carb without needing artificial sweetening).

I’ve never been a big fan of off-the-shelf yogurt but always enjoyed Tzatziki when eating greek food… So I’m happy to have this stuff available.

Written By rafi on July 2nd, 2008 @ 6:27 pm

Regular and Low-fat yogurt is a desert, loaded with sugar and high on the glycemic index it will not leave you full, rather it will spike your blood sugar and leave you reaching for another food an hour later.

Faye, although quite expensive, is a great alternative to yogurt, sweetened with splenda and mixed with fruit, granola or flax seeds it makes the perfect, healthy snack.

Written By Meg on July 2nd, 2008 @ 8:40 pm

I’m sure all the qualities of the product that the prior commenters have pointed out are part of the reason for it.

Another might be that yogurt is one of those categories that has yet to be colonized by bourgeois gourmet-ism. Sure, there are some good excellent local/regional brands (Brown Cow in Northern Calif. is one of my personal favs). Add the differrentiators already mentioned (which add up to give it a sort of health foods store vibe) plus the whole European thing (and Greek, no less, with a name that’s not pronounced like it’s spelled) and it becomes an easily approachable (meaning it’s not icky like, say, tripe or salted prunes) and relatively inexpensive product in which to indulge ones faux-foodie tendencies.

Now to be clear: I’m a big fan of bourgeois gourmet-ism. Yeah, I’m all about Costcos and Trader Joe’ses.

Written By William Morris on July 2nd, 2008 @ 10:49 pm

I’ve been eating Fage yogurt for at least three years and i haven’t noticed that it’s more or less prevalent in NYC bodegas and grocery stores (= it’s still sold in the same markets and stores as in 2004, and it’s still hard to find at certain other markets and stores). Perhaps there is a difference in market penetration outside of NYC, though – would not know. At any rate, even unsweetened, it tastes practically like creme fraiche – that’s a good thing – plus, haven’t you heard? Dairy calcium helps you avoid fat absorption (! Can’t beat that.

Written By jennifer on July 3rd, 2008 @ 5:37 am

I became aware of Fage when I saw a recipe in Runner’s World magazine and have been hooked ever since. I have a sweet tooth like nobody’s business, so Fage doesn’t do it for me on its own. But they make a 2% fat version with a big dollop of honey on the side and the combination of tart and sweet is seriously addictive. But of course, as that version only comes in single serving portions only, you can expect to pay through the nose.

Written By barbara-ann on July 3rd, 2008 @ 7:28 am

Because it’s more fun to say the word Fage than the words Cascade Farms, Brown Cow and/or Stonyfield Farms.

Written By rad on July 3rd, 2008 @ 9:41 am

Rob, before yogurt appeared on US shelves, I had an Armenian friend whose grandfather made his own. He stored the yogurt culture in a Mason jar next to everyone’s galoshes in the hall closet. It was sooooooo yummy.

Wasn’t until years later in Greece that I again tasted the real stuff. Mediterraneans substitute yogurt for milk, butter, ice cream and sauce thickeners. It’s definitely an acquired taste.

Thanks for the Fage tip, I’ll have to give it a try.

Richmond, VA

Written By bonnie larner on July 4th, 2008 @ 4:18 pm

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